When Pro-Gay Science is Anti-Gay
December 20, 2016
by Andrè Van Mol, MD
In 2014, researchers from Columbia University announced a first-of-its-kind study showing a “Shorter life expectancy of 12 years on average for LGB individuals in communities with high vs. low stigma.” Translation: anti-GLBT prejudice kills. Or does it? Sociology professor Mark Regnerus and his University of Texas team published a study in Social Science & Medicine last month in which they reported that “Efforts to replicate Hatzenbuehler et al.’s (2014) key finding on structural stigma’s notable influence on the premature mortality of sexual minorities, including a more refined imputation strategy than described in the original study, failed.” And not just a little: “Ten different approaches to multiple imputation of missing data yielded none in which the effect of structural stigma on the mortality of sexual minorities was statistically significant.” Translation: Houston, we have a problem, and we checked it 10 ways!
The “The Bad Science Battering Ram” blog I posted last August detailed several examples of how ideology masquerades as science, even “settled science” (as if there could be such a thing) to which all should defer or else. Much of what passes as proven research findings make for one big reservoir of non-reproducible results broadcast globally to ideological ends. Bummer. Really, it’s much worse than that, and particularly so for the subject population here.
In Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Yale-trained child psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Satinover stated that supporting gay identified men in their identification with homosexuality is not a benign mistake. That goes for women with same-sex attraction as well. The health consequences are striking, and strikingly bad. Studies like Hatzenbuehler’s attempt to project the blame for the poor health stats of same-sex sexual practice on those who fail to approve, adding pseudoscientific teeth to people and organizations that seek to penalize the insufficiently celebratory.
And no quarter is given to those whom of good will are compelled to offer the explanation that informed consent requires knowledge of the risks of given practices, in this case sexual. Objection is evidence of maleficence. The textbook Developing Multicultural Counseling Competence: A Systems Approach (2nd Edition) offers up a fabricated “Intolerant Personality Disorder” for those whose “rigid beliefs lead a person to suppress the quality of life of another person or group, causing pain and suffering through denial of liberty, equal rights, or freedom of expression.” I presume they do not mean those who inflict precisely such harm upon bakers, florists, photographers, caterers and others who decline to patronize an event called a gay wedding even though they routinely serve the very individuals involved otherwise. No, such emotion-laden hyperbole of description rarely applies both ways. This Orwellian kind of psychopathologizing of peaceful opposition was and is a hallmark of Marxist/Maoist governments. (Also see this article from the National Review.)
Wrong diagnoses lead to errant and harmful prescriptions. In this case, attributing the negative health consequences of same-sex sexual practice to those who think it unhealthful robs those engaged in the behavior of the motivation and opportunities to improve. It is often claimed these health statistics would be better if same-sex relationships were more embraced and celebrated. We already have evidence this is not so.
The CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention reported in April 2011 that, “The sexual health of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States is not getting better despite considerable social, political and human rights advances….” The prevalence of HIV in MSM is worse in the developed world than in the developing. UK’s National Director of Health and Wellbeing Professor Kevin Fenton stated, “It is estimated that the HIV rate in MSM is eight times that of the general population in low-income countries, and 23 times the general-population rate in high-income countries.”
A 2010 article carried the title “Gays and lesbians twice as likely to endure Intimate Partner Violence as heterosexuals.” A 2013 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant offer for the prevention of domestic violence in LGBTQ individuals explained: “Domestic/intimate partner violence is a significant health problem among LGBTQ populations….”
A 2006 Netherlands study concluded, “This study suggests that even in a country with a comparatively tolerant climate regarding homosexuality, homosexual men were at much higher risk for suicidality than heterosexual men.” A 2014 Australian study revealed that a leading reason for suicide among “LGBTI” people is stress from romantic partners rather than societal rejection.
In Northern Europe, Canada and the U.S., among other industrialized nations, same-sex attracted people enjoy supportive governments, affirmation from liberal (if floundering) churches and a public coerced into silence by hate-speech laws, yet the substandard health statistics for the GLBT-identified are just as dismal there as elsewhere. Acceptance and affirmation of same-sex sexuality are not improving outcomes. Blame-shifting the predictably negative results of homosexual practice onto now demonized conscientious objectors further injures the homosexually-identified. Erroneous pro-gay studies encourage anti-gay results.